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29 April 2015

MEGA : Fairy Pitta in Hanoi!

First glimpse...

This morning (29th April) I met Hung at my habitual patch, when I arrived he told me he had just seen and photographed a Fairy Pitta!!! We decided to move in two opposite directions to increase our chances to relocate it. The patch is small (ca 3 ha) but the vegetation is dense. Nevertheless, we were confident to find it again.
After 45 minutes or so, I flushed it at about 200m from the place Hung saw it. It perched 10 meters away on a fallen branch, at eye-level. I moved verrrry slowly to get a better look and fired some (well, many…) shots. After 1 minute of observation the bird dropped down to the ground to continue its Pitta's job, never to be seen again (by me). Later, Hung relocated it, almost in the same area, and got better images than the ones taken in the early morning (low light conditions at this time).
Apparently, there are few records of Fairy Pitta in Vietnam. A once-in-a-lifetime bird for me, I think.

Remark : this patch is dominated by paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera), a very invasive small tree, common in disturbed areas, reaching a maximum heigh of only 10m. Located 2 km from city center, the patch is surrounded by reeds beds, grasslands and agricultural lands. Generally speaking migrant birds are not too fussy about habitat quality - Pittas also apparently!


  1. Absolutely phantastic! Congratulations!
    Was that in Bai Da?

    Cheers, Florian

    1. Hi FLorian

      Yes at Bai Da. We should have found this place earlier...
      A passage migrant Pitta was more or less expected one day in one of our Hanoi`s patches, but all hopes rested on the most recorded one in Vietnam, i.e. the
      Blue-winged, not the Fairy. My best bird seen in the city so far - and for Hung also I think..


  2. Blimey, that is mega! Great work Sebastien & Hung and I am not envious at all ... Richard in Saigon :-(

  3. Congratulations for you Sebastien and Mr Hung Le